Cleaning Up Without Messing Up: The need for a new knowledge base to inform the utilization of marine litter clean up technologies


There have been numerous initiatives made by governments, entrepreneurs, and civil society to develop and implement cleanup technologies to remove or aid in the detection of: floating litter from the ocean and rivers, litter deposited in sand on beaches, and microplastics from stormwater or wastewater.

While removal of plastics benefits the environment, the effectiveness of these solutions as well as potential costs should be taken into account in decision-making, yet this area remains understudied. In determining how, where, and when to implement cleanup technology there is a need to estimate the catch efficiency of plastics, as well as evaluating the potential negative impacts on non-target organisms. It is timely to discuss the role of and pitfalls of cleanup technologies.

To put this somewhat neglected issue on the agenda the International Knowledge Hub Against Plastic Pollution (IKHAPP) at the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) and the Plastic Pollution Working Group at Duke University are hosting two webinars:

Session 1 of 2 – The Cost-Benefit of Implementation of Cleanup Technologies – June 16, 2022 at 9 a.m. ET / 3 p.m. CET – Register

Session 2 of 2 – The Need for a Regulatory Framework for Implementation of Cleanup Technologies – June 23, 2022 at 9 a.m. ET / 3 p.m. CET – Register

Each online seminar will be 75 minutes in total and feature cleanup technology practitioners and plastic pollution researchers who will present and engage in dialogue about what we do know about the benefits and unintended consequences of these technologies and what role they play in global action toward plastic pollution reduction.

Speakers – Session 1

Speakers – Session 2